THE TOP FORCED TO STOP!

The veteran rockers axe dates sfter bass player [b]Dusty Hill[/b] is laid low with Hepatitis C...

ZZ Top have cancelled their European tour after bassist DUSTY HILL was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

The band were scheduled to play three UK dates in June, including their first Manchester show for 15 years. The cancelled dates are at the Manchester Apollo (June 3), Doncaster Dome (4) and London Shepherd's Bush Empire (5). Refunds are available from the point of purchase for all the shows.

In a statement, Hill said: "I want to extend my deepest apologies to the ZZ Top fans we may have disappointed. The prognosis is very good and with the help of physicians and family, I hope to see you sooner rather than later."

As well as the affected shows in the UK, the band have also cancelled another 32 concerts in 16 other countries. The shows will hopefully be rearranged for later in the year. Before Hill's illness, the band had been touring North America, Australia, and New Zealand as part of their 30th anniversary tour.

Sources close to the band recently revealed to nme.com that ZZ Top have also completed work on their as-yet-untitled new album. The record has been on their record label RCA's "release pending" list, but due to production difficulties it's still not certain when the record will get a UK release.

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